After a month and four thousand miles I've come to
some conclusions and realizations on my first
I love the car. 1983 300D with 242K miles on it.
The motor is sound, oil preasur is very good, never
seen below 2.5bar, ever, not after very long high mph
interstate running. Uses little oil, leaks little.
turbo has a little play in the shaft, but hey.
It has it's share of odd and end 242K mile car
problems. It has not been perfectly maintained, but
not abused either, and HAS had very regular oil
Now, the only real problem and think I don't like, is
the transmission. I dislike an auto to start with,
especially with a diesel. And this one is original
with this millege, which I read and am told is rare.
I suspect it's lasted so long because the modulator
was connected to a line the service manual labels as a
"vent to passanger compartment", hence, neck snaping
shifts with no slip. It would break traction and move
the rear of the car sideways on wet pavement at medium
throttle, and ocasionally chirp the tires on dry
asphalt. Not that this isnt a little fun, but it's
not right. So I hook the modulator up to it's correct
line, and it shifts firm but smoother than it was, and
the shift points are better, though I also adjusted
the cable as per the manual. BUT, the 3-4 shift has
some slip, not flare, but slip, and it takes about
three seconds do drop into reverse(and always has
since 120K says the previous owner). I'm not done
tuneing and fixing the vacuum system, but I am about
sure the trans needs to be rebuilt.
Here lies the problem and the point I need advice on.
I can't afford to rebuild this thing. Period. I was
laid off not long ago, there's christmass, bills, etc,
etc, I wouldnt have got the car but I bought it some
time ago when I was employed and just now picked it
It's crutch this tranny along or sell the car.
I figure why not put it back as it was?
1: Hard shifts are better than none at all, and
theoreticaly less wear on the transmission, yes?
2: Is this best acomplished by either tunieing the
vacuum system till the 3-4 shift is acceptable OR
turning up the line preasure at the modulator?
3: A good parts source? I need the two switchover
valves up top, there working but the plastic over the
metal protrusion is worn away, and a few other things.
I've seen them for $35 or so at a place or two, even
for an MB, that seems a little much for a plastic
I also plan to change to synthetic fluid and possibly
update the B2 piston as I'm pretty sure this is the
original and failure prone one. There is a newer
modulator I've read, but if I end up diconnecting it I
may not bother with it.
It really, really, really bugs me to have something
not as it should be, but I don't have much of a choice
at the moment. The timing chain I'm sure it's due and
various suspension items are going to eat me up as it
is. Is there anything else I should consider here?
What little information I've come across says a manual
trans swap is a pain with reguard to the flywheel swap
and engine balance, so I gues that's out, though it
would be absolutly preferable.
Thanks for any input.
83 300D 242K
Missing his cheap, economical VW diesels..